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September 2017

Finance needn't be complicated


When it comes to sorting out finances, it doesn't have to be complicated. Bartercard makes it easy and straightforward for members to keep track of their finances by fitting into existing accounting systems without any hassle.

Bartercard uses an electronic currency (Trade Dollars), that is exchanged between members to pay for goods and services to improve cash flow (cash be conserved for other business expenses), reduce cash expenses (by using Trade instead) and attract new customers.

This simple-to-use system allows business owners to spend less time on their accounting and more time focusing on business growth strategies. 
 
It's simple to use!

In addition to integrating with a member's current financial system, such a Xero, Bank Link and MYOB, there are several other aspects of Bartercard that make its accounting processes simple to use.

Trade Dollars are treated in the same way as cash. There are no special tax considerations when using Bartercard. This means when funds are in a Bartercard account, tax is paid in the same way it is for a cash amount in a normal bank account. 

Similarly, the accounting treatment of assets bought on Bartercard is identical to assets bought in cash; the depreciation rates and methods remain the same. 

A staff account is an ideal opportunity for business owners who want to divide up personal and business spending, or use for staff incentives and bonus payments. 

For all accounting and taxation purposes, one Trade Dollar is equivalent to one New Zealand Dollar. 

 
How does this benefit Bartercard members?

Bartercard works supplementary to cash business. At no point is any members obligated to take on Bartercard business over cash-paying business, giving them complete control. All members can choose which products and services they sell through the Bartercard network, and they can adjust offers to the Bartercard community as it suits their business at any time.

Bartercard encourages members to utilize other goods and services within the network which helps gain new business, create customer loyalty and increase profits. 

Further, unlike loyalty programmes and daily deal sites, Bartercard Trade Dollars never expire. 

All Bartercard members sign up to trading terms and the community is self-regulated. It's therefore important that members are transparent and promote services and goods fairly to the network and customers. 

Download Bartercard's free "The Accountants Guide to Bartercard" eBook for more information and an explanation on how Bartercard will work with your accounting systems, or consult your accountant. 


NZB SEPTEMBER 2017
June 2017

Don't fear trade dollars


Maximising cashflow, retaining customers and keeping stock moving are important elements of any business. What if we told you, there’s a digital currency where you can buy and sell products and services using trade dollars rather than using cash? That’s where Bartercard can help grow your business. Here we focus on five key areas to help business owners get the most from using Bartercard Trade Dollars, rather than fearing them.

1. TREAT TRADE DOLLARS AS A SUPPLEMENT TO CASH-PAYING BUSINESS

Operating as a supplement to cash business, the Bartercard membership provides complete control over which products and services are sold through the network. No member is obligated at any time to take on Trade Dollar business over cash-paying business. Adding the flexibility of Bartercard to your business allows other members to utilise your goods and services with Trade Dollars, which can help create new business, customer loyalty and increase profits.

2. USE TRADE DOLLARS TO MOVE INVENTORY/FILL OCCUPANCY AS BUSINESS FLUCTUATES

Spare capacity and downtime can be converted into new revenue by utilising inventory, equipment and employees. Businesses can sell excess stock or slow moving inventory, without the need to discount heavily. Members receive Trade Dollars as payment, which they then spend on other goods and services within the Bartercard community which are beneficial to their own business.

3. TRADE DOLLARS AS A STAFF RETENTION/REWARD SYSTEM

Retaining good staff is important. However, many businesses struggle to find ways to reward exceptional staff without increasing pages or salaries. Trade Dollars offer an easy solution: use Trade Dollars as employee bonuses, incentive schemes or gifts. For example, utilising the Bartercard trade exchange, a business could gift a staff member a reward such as a dinner out, using Trade Dollars.

4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE VAST MEMBER BUSINESS NETWORK

Bartercard has a large referral network that allows members to extend their customer base and geographic reach. This can then translate into increased business profits. New customers generated by Trade Dollars are in addition to existing cash business, so they don’t interfere with existing business.

Through referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, members have an advantage over their competitors. Each time a member spends
their Trade Dollars, that member receives new business from another member’s business.

5. MANAGE CASHFLOW AND MAKE USE OF INTEREST-FREE CREDIT

Trade Dollars are an electronic currency and work in a similar way to a credit card or bank account, with the added advantage that you can continue to make purchases even when cashflow has slowed. Trade Dollars can be transacted via EFTPOS, online over the phone, using the Bartercard app, or by transaction vouchers.

Bartercard provides the opportunity to expose your business to new customer markets, improve cashflow, reduce business expenses and clear idle and excess stock without having to discount. It’s simple to use and acts no differently to a normal bank account or line of credit.

Find out more about how Bartercard can work for your business by downloading their free eBook, ‘How to Use Bartercard to Grow Your Business’.

23 NZB JULY 2017
April 2017

Growing your business with Trade Dollars


With the new financial year ahead for many, now is the ideal opportunity to assess your business needs to make sure you have the best systems and practices in place to ensure financial success. Financial success encompasses various components. To help build customers and preserve cash, Bartercard offers an innovative funding option using an alternative, electronic currency (Trade Dollars) that is exchanged between members to pay for goods and services. Trade Dollars are a well-recognised and accepted method of payment in New Zealand. One Trade Dollar is equivalent to one New Zealand dollar for all accounting and taxation purposes.

Bartercard is a registered Financial Services Provider and operates in the same way as a credit card or another bank account. There is no difference between cash and Trade Dollars, with sales being recorded as income and purchases being recorded as an expense or asset.

Here Bartercard share some useful tips on how to plan for the new financial year.
 

START PLANNING FROM DAY 1


Avoid the last-minute tax crunch and minimise the amount you have to pay back by planning early. Set up the systems and processes that support your business goals, especially if you are looking to expand or tackle a new direction. The more profitable you become, the more complicated finances get so implementing fail-safe strategies early on will set you on the right track.

If you’re looking to get your business off the ground, it pays to find an accountant who’s ruthless with money, as you’ll want to make every cent stretch in the early days. Bartercard has a range of bookkeepers, accountants and financial planners available without the cash price tag so you can put your cash towards other business expenses.
 

LOSE THE PAPER


If you’re storing shoeboxes full of faded paper receipts, stop! Photograph receipts as you spend and file them away to declutter and reduce time searching in the last-minute tax rush. Many accounting software apps will let you photograph and file receipts – so you won’t get buried under paper.
 

CUT THE NON-ESSENTIAL SPENDS


Do you still have that magazine subscription? If it’s outdated, redundant or no longer applicable, cancel or sell it to make room in your budget for spending that will work harder.

There are hundreds of media outlets within Bartercard where you can conserve cash on advertising while gaining exposure and cut-through in the cash market. Review your budget, cut any unnecessary spending and reallocate your funds.

Bartercard members have the option to purchase products from other Bartercard suppliers at wholesale or retail rates, adding new stock to their product line which they can then on-sell in the cash and/or trade economy.
 

RECONCILE YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS AND CREDIT CARDS


Reconciling bank accounts takes time and is important to ensure your tax is correct. Bartercard is linked with Xero and MYOB which makes reconciliation simple and takes the manual work out of recording every Bartercard transaction into your accounting software. Win win!
 

RE-VISIT YOUR PERSONAL WEALTH


As a business owner it’s easy to get caught up in the present and take your focus off the future. A new financial year is a good time to revisit your long-term wealth-building strategies, including real estate, that can really set you up for the future. Listing a property through Bartercard is an effective way to sell relatively quickly compared to the cash market and conserves costs in a range of areas. There’re no upfront costs including advertising; and transaction fees are charged on the Bartercard component only when it sells.
 

KNOW THE BASICS OF BOOKKEEPING


Even if you already have a reliable bookkeeper or accountant, knowing how to do your own bookkeeping means you will know exactly what information you should be taking to your advisor to get the most out of tax time. You will also know what your accountant is talking about, so you’ll get the maximum value out of every meeting. Even if you’re short of time, it’s worth investing in a short course or reading up on the basics of bookkeeping.

For more information on what Bartercard is (and what it isn’t), access the free eBook ‘How to use Barterard to grow your business’ by visiting http://content.bartercard.co.nz/how-to-use-bartercard-to-grow-you-business-ebook-download

Bartercard does not provide any financial advice and it is recommended clients consult a Chartered Accountant from the Bartercard directory or their own tax specialist before acting on this information.

If you would like to download a copy of this article please click here

27 NZB APRIL 2017
February 2017
 

NZB Article-75

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WE KNOW COMPETITION IS FIERCE WHEN IT COMES TO RECRUITING THE RIGHT INDIVIDUALS - THERE'S SO MUCH TO CONSIDER. 
ACCORDING TO FORBES MAGAZINE'S, ALAN HALL, THERE ARE SOME BASIC RULES TO FOLLOW:

• Ensure Competency. Are the skills necessary for the job within the outline provided by the prospective employee? Are his/her experience and education in alliance with what is required? Do not be tempted to think that on the spot training will cover deficits because they seem ‘nice’. If you really want them, put them on a probationary employment level and see if they ‘rise to the occasion.’

• Capability and creativity. It’s one thing to be able to perform the job at a basic and perfunctory level, but is this the best use of your capital? To hire an exceptional employee, ensure that they can demonstrate from experience, that they can come up with creative and innovative ways in which to increase productivity or problem-solving in a particular area. Are they willing to take on more responsibility?

• Are they compatible with you, the job and other staff? While you don’t expect everyone to be the same with identical personality traits and backgrounds, you do need to ensure that the person you are choosing to interact with your current staff for up to 40 hours or more per week, is going to be someone with whom you and the other staff get along. If they are a congenial, happy, team-oriented and goal focused individual then chances are they will be able to fit in well with their new surroundings. Calling past employers is a good way of finding out about team functioning.

• Are they committed to you and your success? If you’re looking at a resumé that is littered with small amounts of time at different places, chances are the employee in front of you isn’t there for the long haul, and the expense of training and upskilling him/her for a suitable role in your business is going to be largely a waste of time.

• Is their character of good repute? You and your other employees need to know that the new ‘guy/girl’ is above reproach; that you would not introduce someone who is of a suspicious character into their workplace. A few phone calls will soon determine the results you need.

• Is their culture compatible with your work culture? This doesn’t refer to someone’s ethnic origins. This is about fitting in with the way in which things are done in your business. Do they share the same values, expectations, insights and behaviours as the rest of your staff? Are they going to fit in from the start?

• Are you able to compensate them according to award conditions and rates? If you find that they are ‘over’ qualified, or ‘under’ skilled, then it could result in an employee feeling under-valued or over-valued and not satisfied with what is on offer. Even though they may state they are happy to accept conditions as they are, the future realities may prevent employee satisfaction and this could adversely affect the mood of the whole business.

But what also needs to be considered is how employers reward their teams and the impact on payroll. How do you incentivise employees, both new and loyal, to keep them motivated? For most businesses, retention of good staff members is important but finding ways to reward staff that go the extra mile for the business without increasing wages or salaries can be tricky (and anything that goes through the payroll will incur PAYE).

Bartercard is a great tool to reward, provide incentives and support wage levels. And with the intelligent use of Bartercard, you have an incredible tool with which to select, maintain, up-skill and retain staff.

Take a small manufacturing company who wants to reward their top sales person with an incentive, but budgets are tight. Working with the Bartercard trade exchange the business can gift that staff member by purchasing a reward (such as a dinner out) through the Bartercard network using accumulated Trade Dollars. The business preserves their cash, while saying thank you to that employee, and better still gifts under $300/per employee, per quarter are exempt from tax under Fringe Benefit rules.

Bartercard’s eBook 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners offers helpful advice on employee management and much more, so you can make sure your employees are the secret to your long-term success.

Remember, while the careful and correct selection of staff is a very important task, so too is the way you incentivise and reward your staff, and the overall package that is being offered


If you would like to download a copy of this article please click here

33 NZB FEBRUARY 2017
1 November 2016
Press Release

 

BC Marketplace-102

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BARTERCARD NEW ZEALAND LAUNCHES ONLINE MARKETPLACE

Target of $500 million turnover a year by 2020

As the cash-free economy continues to grow, Bartercard NZ has launched an online marketplace for its thousands of members to make trading even easier.
 
More than 16,000 account holders throughout New Zealand belong to Bartercard, with more than $200 million worth of goods and services traded annually.
 
The company has ambitious growth plans, and Chief Executive John Scott says the new Marketplace – launching on Tuesday, 1 November – is a major step in that direction.
 
“Marketplace will greatly enhance our members’ experience, streamlining the trading process and giving them the ability to control what promotions they want to see and when they want to see them. It also analyses their search interest, provides insights and suggests deals they may not have thought of.”
 
Scott says the single gateway allows members to access all Bartercard portals via just one application, allowing for better management and a smoother end-to-end process, with more products and features being added to Marketplace over the coming months. “We’re continually improving our digital offering as we have identified this as an area where significant growth can be achieved. 
 
Scott says the Marketplace launch follows research undertaken to better understand what information Bartercard members want to receive, how and when.
 
“We combined their feedback with comments from our trade brokers and developed this new platform to give Bartercard members greater control and improved trading opportunities across the network,” he says.
 
Features of Bartercard Marketplace include:
 
  • A browsing platform for member listings and promotions, products and services
  • A streamlined process for receiving national promotions across the network
  • Members can choose what they want to receive and when
  • Analytics and targeting based on what members have selected to receive, as well as data on their own products and services
 
“It opens up greater opportunities to trade and enables us to become far more efficient in providing timely and relevant promotions to our members,” says Scott.
 
The launch of Marketplace ties in with the Bartercard Online Trade Show which runs from 1 to 15 November.
 
Scott says the key sectors active in Bartercard NZ are professional services, hospitality, automotive, construction and building, and food and drink.
 
ENDS
 
For more information, or to arrange an interview with John Scott, please contact Annie Hogan at Lassoo Media and PR on 021 725 259 or annie@lassoo.co.nz
For Media Queries: Contact Tina Burns, National Marketing & Communications Manager, Bartercard on 021 1011518 or tina.burns@bartercard.co.nz
 
About Bartercard: Following Bartercard’s creation in Australia in 1991, Bartercard New Zealand became the first international licensee a year later. Since its inception, the Bartercard Trade Exchange has grown to more than 16,000 account holders across New Zealand trading over $200 million worth of goods and services outside the cash economy each year. Bartercard operates in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, India, South Africa, United States, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Cyprus. 
 
August 2016
Press Release

 

Batrercard feedback

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IN A DEAL WORTH $22.5M CASH, $2.5M IN SHARES AND $5M RAISED FOR COSTS AND WORKING CAPITAL, BPS TECHNOLOGY LIMITED, WHO OWNS BARTERCARD, IS TO ACQUIRE ENTERTAINMENT PUBLICATIONS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND.


Entertainment Publications Australia and New Zealand is a popular and prominent business-to-consumer (B2C) deals platform which produces the Entertainment Book and the Entertainment Digital Membership.  It has 550,000 members and a relationship with 12,000 SMEs and 18,000 NFPs. 
 
The collaboration will provide many exciting opportunities for both partners.  The vendor of Entertainment Publications, Mr Ben Johnson, who will remain as Chairman of Entertainment after completion, said, “Entertainment Publications and BPS share the same culture and values, making this a natural win for both companies. They share the same vision for providing marketing solutions to businesses, value to customers, and support to community organisations and the charitable sector. It is a win-win for everyone.” 
 
As part of the acquisition process, BPS undertook a detailed financial and legal due diligence on Entertainment. Further detail on the acquisition is set out in the presentation announced to ASX. 
Mr Trevor Dietz, CEO of BPS Technology said “I am delighted to welcome Entertainment into the BPS group. Entertainment is an excellent business led by an ambitious team who share our core values. We expect the joining of our longstanding, valuable business networks to deliver an increasingly compelling value proposition to merchants, consumers and not-for-profits. This acquisition brings several attractive near-term growth opportunities within reach, the benefits of which will flow to new and existing BPS partners, merchants and shareholders.” 
 
It is anticipated the settlement of the acquisition will be completed mid-September 2016. 
 
 
Highlights: 
 
  • BPS to acquire Entertainment Publications Australia and New Zealand, a leading business-to-consumer (B2C) deals platform which produces the Entertainment Book and the Entertainment Digital Membership 
 
  • Acquisition set to boost BPS’ growth profile with FY17E pro forma revenue growth of 118% and FY17E pro forma EBITDA growth of 49%. Significant future growth potential with the combined BPS group benefiting from a network of 36,000 SMEs, 18,000 NFPs and 550,000 paying customers (“Members”) 
 
  • BPS successfully completes institutional placement, raising $27.5 million to fund the Entertainment acquisition and to provide growth / working capital 
 
  • Institutional placement was significantly oversubscribed with strong demand received from institutional and sophisticated investors 
 
  • All eligible BPS shareholders invited to participate in a non-underwritten Share Purchase Plan at the same price as the placement ($0.94 per share) 
 
About BPS Technology Limited (ASX: BPS): BPS Technology Limited is a leading provider of technology platforms and management systems in the Digital Payments space for Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) in eight countries. Its technology platforms and systems help to drive customers to its SMB merchants. More than 24,000 SMBs transact in excess of 1.8m transactions worth $600m+ per annum using its various technology platforms. BPS earns fees on all transactions over the platforms via its subsidiaries Bartercard, TESS and bucqi. 
 
About Entertainment: Entertainment Publications is a business-to-consumer (B2C) deals platform with an established model proven over 21 years of profitable operations. Entertainment provides restaurant and activity guides with special offers from more than 12,000 SMEs to consumers across Australia and New Zealand. 
About Bartercard: Bartercard operates the world’s largest trade exchange. It allows small to medium businesses to conduct business transactions without the use of cash. There are 50,000+ card holders in 8 countries currently. Bartercard transactions can be conducted online, via its mobile app, across more than 7,000 bank EFTPOS terminals and on bucqi terminals. 
 
About bucqi: bucqi is a disruptive technology based around a loyalty platform designed for SMBs combined with a robust and innovative mobile payment app for both merchants and consumers. The payments platform has been two years in the making and has a number of patents pending. It allows consumers to easily pay for goods and services without taking out their wallet or swiping their credit card and they earn and redeem reward points via a wide range of participating suppliers. It has been launched in three regional cities in Queensland Australia and Wellington in New Zealand.

For more information, please contact:
Trevor Dietz
CEO, BPS Technology
+61 7 5561 9111
trevor.dietz@bpstechnology.com
 
August 2016

 

Grow your business

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A NEW EBOOK FROM BARTERCARD IS DESIGNED TO HELP BUSINESS OWNERS SEPARATE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE FROM AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PERSPECTIVE – ALLOWING THEM TO IDENTIFY POINTS OF WEAKNESS IN ORDER TO CLARIFY END GOALS.


As a small business owner, you’re always busy, wearing many hats at once in the hope of seeing even the smallest signs of success. Some days are rewarding while others can’t end soon enough, and every morning, no matter what, you wake up with renewed energy to get in, get dirty, and get the job done.

Just going through the motions, however, isn’t always enough. It’s a cliché, but it can never be said too many times – in order to truly be effective as a small business owner; you must start working on your business rather than simply in your business.

Fortunately there’s now a new tool to help show you how. Bartercard’s new eBook, The 7 habits of Highly Effective
Business Owners, provides opportunities,  bite sized hints and tips to help small business owners manage their business more efficiently. It reveals how to grow a solid customer base and keep staff happy, while streamlining processes.

Underpinning all of this is how a network, such as Bartercard, can help SME businesses achieve this goal through the use of ‘lightbulb moments’.

The eBook recommends business owners put their energy in the right place to do what it takes to build a great company while still balancing the day-to-day expectations of their role at the helm.

However, as the authors point out, “business acumen isn’t the same as knowing how to approach a new enterprise from the right viewpoint. All the practical experience in the world can’t give you the skills needed to lead the troops if you’re used to spending time in the trenches”.

The eBook’s seven habits are based around:

• Learning how to roll with the punches.
• Exploring the art of long and short-term plans.
• Monitoring cashflow and spending.
• Working with the professionals vs. DIY opportunities.
• Embracing technology, and
• Being open to change.

It’s a resource designed to help SME owners separate knowledge and experience from an entrepreneurial perspective, allowing them to identify points of weakness in order to clarify end goals.
 
HOW TO THINK

It has been said there’s no way to anticipate what the future will bring, which is why being a highly effective small business owner is more about how to think, rather than
what to think.

A successful owner must balance working on the ground within a company as well as from a higher, holistic level. A good leader is always thinking ahead, anticipating possible outcomes, creating long-term and short-term game plans, and investing in tools designed to benefit him /her in the long run.
And, as the book expounds, “most of all, he or she is willing to take the time to learn more about what it means to be truly great as a business owner”.
 
SHORT AND SWEET RESOURCE

Intended to be short, sweet, and consumed in a single sitting, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners is an all-purpose resource for what it takes to make a difference in your business.
By providing the key skills necessary to keep you on the right track, you’ll always be able to focus your energies in the right place: on the overall health and success of your business.

 
If you would like to download a copy of this article please click here
 

45 NZB AUGUST 2016

 
 
June 2016

 

WigWednesday Newsletter Banner

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BARTERCARD IS DELIGHTED TO BE A PROUD PARTNER TO THE CHILD CANCER FOUNDATION, A CHARITY SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH CANCER AND THEIR FAMILIES

It's #WigWedNZ! The Foundation will be running New Zealand’s first ‘Wig Wednesday’ next week – a fundraising day with a difference, and we’ll be getting involved!

 
Wig Wednesday will take place on Wednesday 22 June, so why not get your work colleagues involved, have a little bit of fun along the way, and help raise funds for this worthy cause.
 
More than three children are diagnosed with cancer each week in New Zealand. The Child Cancer Foundation is there to provide essential support to these children, and their families, from the time of diagnosis, throughout their treatment and beyond.  Bartercard wants to help support these children and their families by takin part in Wig Wednesday and you can do the same.  As a stand-alone charity, the Child Cancer Foundation receives no direct funding from the government, so it relies on the generosity of New Zealanders to help deliver its vital assistance to families when they need it most.
 
It’s easy to get started for your Wig Wednesday campaign!  Simply click on the link, complete the registration short form and everything you need to get involved will be provided! 

http://www.childcancer.org.nz/How-you-can-help/Our-campaigns/Wig-Wednesday-Form.aspx
 
And why not check out our social media pages on Wednesday 22 June to see who has the craziest wig!



 
 
April 2016

 

Bartercard feedback

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IN 2013 BARTERCARD NEW ZEALAND
CEO JOHN SCOTT EMBARKED ON A REMARKABLE TRANSFORMATION PROJECT;  A TRANSFORMATION THAT
CAN PROVIDE LESSONS FOR ALL
SIZE BUSINESSES.


When John Scott took on the role of chief executive of Bartercard New Zealand in January 2013 he knew he had a challenge ahead. He also knew he held the ideal skillset, having spent the previous seven years as GM of credit information bureau Dun & Bradstreet, ten years as Auckland manager for Thomson Reuters, and time in his native UK working for a business and financial information services company.
 
“I come from an innovation background,” he says. “My specialty is looking at relationships, identifying what needs to be changed, and getting buy-in”.
 
“It’s all about sharing the learnings and developing the talent that you have.”
 
Bartercard celebrates its 24th anniversary here this year. It has 7,000 member businesses across New Zealand, 15,000 cardholders, 13 local branches, 125 staff and trades more than $200 million worth of goods and services outside the cash economy annually. It’s what Scott calls an “enigma brand” - but in many respects it was a mystery and due for an overhaul.
 
Scott was attracted by the prospect of utilising his skills in formulating and executing strategy - and by the calibre of Bartercard New Zealand’s board at the time.
 
“I recall all my interview questions were around people. The brief was to develop the people, define the strategy and build it all around the culture.”
 
Top priority was to simplify Bartercard’s message and provide more transparency around such things as fees and marketing services. Scott says the website and information about Bartercard wasn’t transparent to non-members. “There was way too much confusing information. The site had to be simplified; we had to better explain what we’re about.”
 
“And rather than just be operationally efficient, we had to be more innovative,” he says.
 

PEOPLE, PROCESS, PERFORMANCE
 
Under Scott’s leadership there’ve been changes under the broad banners of people, process and performance.
 
Initially, he held a series of staff meetings around the country to allow everyone a say on the issues. “Out of that process we came away with three big binders of information, which we distilled down to what became our five-year strategy.”
 
“It’s all about unlocking talent; moving away from a hierarchical, vertical, silo-type culture to a faster, flatter, team-based partnership model,” he explains. “Teaching people to be coaches and mentors rather than managers; moving from a competitive to an achievement-based culture, and looking at how we can all contribute to the wider success of the business.”
 
Don’t impose [your will] on your people, advises Scott. “Get them to see that there has to be change, and to buy into it because they believe in that change, and they’ve been listened to.”
 
To prove just how people-focused the company has become, there have been 42 internal promotions over the past two years.
 
As for process - the key has been simplicity; moving away from completely bespoke internal development. The focus now is on SaaS (software-as-a-service) partnerships - for example Xero, Promapp and Office 365 ñ switching from a cap-ex model to an op-ex one.
 
“We’ve moved to far more nimble, agile, integrated solutions that you can literally plug and play into your business. In terms of process we’ve moved from an art, to a science,” Scott explains.
 
Performance comes through encouraging an empowerment-based culture. To do that you must celebrate successes, he says. “Over 90 percent of our employees now have some form of bonus or “at risk” element in their total [remuneration] package. So if the company is successful, they get rewarded.”
 

SIMPLE MESSAGE
 
Scott’s vision for Bartercard is for it to be the “sales growth network of choice for all New Zealand businesses.” His simple message is “We bring you more sales.”
 
“We want to grow small business sales by ten percent or more in the first 12 months within the Bartercard community,” he says, adding that the ten percent figure is based on research into the company’s historical data across all clients, which reveals average sales growth over the first 12 months of 9.8 percent, continuing through to 24 months.
 
That same data also revealed that 43 percent of new Members’ cashflow improved within 12 months because they were able to offset some of their cash expenses, whilst 38 percent stayed the same as they were already paying to standard terms.
 
And, believes Scott, what’s particularly interesting, especially to businesses with a high supplier churn rate, is the high loyalty factor of Bartercard’s community network. “If you’re two years in the network, 78 percent of the time you’ll be dealing with the same people. At three years it’s 73 percent and at four years it’s 70 percent. I think that’s quite amazing in terms of longevity of relationships.
 
“People do not understand the scale of the [Bartercard] business. We’re actually a tool to help you grow your business.”
 
Bartercard complements your cash business, he adds. The “sweet-spot” is five to 15 percent of overall sales. It allows you to improve margins and expand, without the need for discounting. And it’s particularly effective for generating income from where you would have idle capacity (think vacant motel rooms or cafe tables).
 
But it’s no magic bullet - just like the cash economy, results are directly linked to time and effort put in. If you want to grow sales by say ten percent, you have to contribute ten percent of your time to make it work, suggests Scott. “You also have to commit to changing from some of your existing suppliers; and focus on promoting your goods and services within our network.”
 
However, he stresses that the network does not offer as many unlimited choices when it comes to spending trade dollars (Bartercard’s proprietary digital currency), unlike the cash economy. “So you have to be creative in how you utilise those dollars.”
 

TECHNOLOGY BASED
 
Having been bought back by its Gold Coast parent company, Business Payment Solutions, 12 months ago, the plan is to evolve Bartercard into a technology-based organisation. “Our goal is to be number on in digital currencies,” says Scott. “We want to move to digital payment solutions based on smartphone technology.”
 
A number of platform updates are underway, including a more intuitive Bartercard Maps, which helps members locate each other more easily. There will also be a new B2C app, Bucqi - an everyday rewards programme to attract more sales for small business. Although strictly speaking a B2B2C solution, because it’s based on trade dollars, Scott describes it as a “beautifully elegant solution; a way of bringing a whole new cash audience of consumers to your business.”
 
It’s Scott’s wish to keep Bartercard heading down the innovation pathway.” focus is on developing our people and investing in their futures, as they will always drive innovation.”
 
As for his own personal highlight from his first three years in the job? “It was the day Bartercard handed over a cheque to Child Cancer for $113,000. The proceeds from our 2015 one day fundraising appeal. That was a very special, and humbling, experience.”

 
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36 NZB APRIL 2016


 
 
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